Online Workshop on Earth Science Literacy

12-24 May 2008
(note: site will go live after 1 April)

A 2-week online workshop will be held in order to create a concise framework of “Big Ideas” and supporting concepts in earth science. This document will describe what all Americans need to know about earth science, with primary input from the research community. It will be used to govern future decisions in a variety of arenas related to earth science, such as government legislation and educational standards.

There is little doubt about the timely need for broader public understanding of geoscience. With declining enrollments in geoscience programs and multiple efforts to increase quality communication of geoscience on all levels, an NSF-funded workshop is being organized to develop a document with primary input from the research community that outlines the most important geoscience concepts for a literate society. The Earth Science Literacy effort follows up on the interagency efforts to create the Ocean, Atmospheric Science and Climate Change Literacy documents.

All members of the Earth science community are invited to apply to participate in the online workshop, which will occur during May 12-24. Though participation is limited, the entire community is invited to observe the online process. A draft document will be available for public comment in the early fall. We hope to achieve community consensus among all of the disciplines served by the EAR division of NSF in the creation of this document. For additional information, go to, after the 1st of April.

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